72-year-old Mormugao councillor is Goa’s seventh COVID fatality

Vasco: Seventy two-year-old Mormugao civic body councillor Pascoal D’Souza is the seventh COVID-19 fatality in the state and the third in Vasco.

Elder brother of Jose Philip D’Souza, the president of the state unit of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Pascoal succumbed to the viral infection while undergoing treatment in the ICU at the COVID hospital in Margao around 1 am on Sunday. He was an ex-employee of Mormugao Port Trust.

Pascoal D’Souza, who was elected as councillor for a second term from Mangor-Hill area, had developed COVID symptoms following a special council meeting he had attended recently at the Janata Vachanalaya Hall.

Five other councillors of the Mormugao municipal council (MMC) had also developed symptoms of the infection and were referred to COVID-19 care centres for treatment. D’Souza’s condition deteriorated and turned critical on Saturday evening following which he was shifted to the ICU. He succumbed to the infection post Saturday midnight.

The last rites on D’Souza’s mortal remains were held at the St Andrew’s Church cemetery around 4.30 pm on Sunday with a few family members attending the funeral. The mortal remains of D’Souza were taken to the cemetery in a hearse van belonging to the MMC. People from Mangor-Hill, whom D’Souza represented, were unable to bid adieu to him due to the restrictions imposed by the government with regard to COVID-19 deaths.

Minister for Transport Mauvin Godinho, Minister for Urban Development Milind Naik, Vasco MLA Carlos Almeida, Cortalim MLA Alina Saldanha, MMC chairperson Nandadeep Raut, deputy chairperson Reema Sonurlekar and others expressed shock over D’Souza’s death. They also conveyed their condolences to D’Souza’s family.

NCP state unit president Jose Philip D’Souza said, “He always fought for the people of Mangor-Hill. He had attended the special meeting of the council only to fight for their rights, as the people were suffering without food following the area being declared as a containment zone. I made a mistake by sending my elder brother to attend the special meeting in the council.”

The death of D’Souza has vacated the ward 17 seat in Mangor-Hill, reducing the strength of the ruling council to 12 from 13 in the 25-member council. It is learnt that by-election for ward 17 will be held when the general municipal elections, scheduled to be held in October this year, are held.